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Montgomery College to Celebrate Student Graduation on May 18 President Emeritus of the College to Deliver Address

Montgomery College will celebrate its annual commencement festivities on Friday, May 18 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will honor graduates from the College’s three campuses in Montgomery County, Md.—Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring—along with apprenticeship graduates in Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs. Of the more than 3,000 students who have completed graduation requirements for associate’s degrees, apprenticeships or certificates this academic year, more than 800 will participate in the ceremony, which will be held on the Rockville Campus athletic field.

“Being part of the moment when hundreds of young men and women can say ‘I am a college graduate’ is a profound honor for me,” Montgomery College President DeRionne P. Pollard said. “Commencement is the culmination of many days of dedication, sacrifice, and perseverance by the students, as well as their loved ones, and College faculty and staff. For the institution, commencement is also the realization of our mission: empowering students to change their lives and enriching the life of our community.”

Dr. Hercules Pinkney—president emeritus of Montgomery College—will deliver the commencement address. Dr. Pinkney formerly served as vice president and provost of the Germantown Campus. After his retirement in 2009, Dr. Pinkney, at the request of the Board of Trustees, returned to the College to serve as interim president until August 2010. Leadership Montgomery recognized him as Leader of the Year in 2010 for his steadfast dedication to the College.

Four Montgomery College Students Selected to Address Fellow Students

The commencement ceremony will also feature speeches by four graduating students who have been selected as the College’s Board of Trustees Scholars. The scholars, who earn an award for future tuition or educational costs, represent each of the three campuses and Workforce Development and Continuing Education. This year’s Board of Trustees Scholars are:

James Perry, Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Mr. James Perry is completing a four-year apprenticeship program through the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, National Capital Chapter (ACCA/NCC) program at Montgomery College. He is graduating with a 3.81 grade point average. Mr. Perry is employed by Shapiro & Duncan, Inc., a full-service mechanical contractor headquartered in Rockville.

Lynda Schrack, Germantown Campus

Ms. Lynda Schrack, a general studies major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. She owns her own graphic design firm, Art Effects, and works part time for the College’s Lifelong Learning Institute. She also designs and builds miniature reproductions of buildings and homes. During her studies, she took classes with her son, Brett, who is also a 2012 graduate.

Zachary Zimmerman, Rockville Campus

Mr. Zachary Zimmerman, a business administration major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. He is completing his studies in the Macklin Business Institute (MBI). Prior to attending Montgomery College, Mr. Zimmerman served as a lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps, with active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Abaynesh Teklehaimanot, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

Ms. Abaynesh Teklehaimanot, a general studies major and member of Phi Theta Kappa, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. She arrived in the United States in 2008 as a refugee, and she successfully completed a nursing assistant training program through the College’s Refugee Training Program. Throughout her studies, she worked full time to support her family.      Honorary Degrees Will Go to Suzan E. Jenkins, Dr. Stewart Edelstein, Charles H. Atwell, and Dr. Pinkney

Montgomery College will award honorary degrees to Charles H. Atwell, Dr. Stewart Edelstein, and Suzan E. Jenkins. Dr. Pinkney will also receive an honorary degree as the commencement speaker.

Mr. Charles H. Atwell, a longtime Silver Spring resident, is the president and CEO of Innovative Business Interiors, Inc. (IBI), which specializes in furniture and design solutions for business, education, health care, and government in the Washington area. He established IBI in 1990.

Atwell is currently a board member and co-chair of the small business committee of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, where he formerly served as chairman. He is vice-chairman of the board of directors of The Foundation Schools, a board member of Montgomery Alliance for Giving, and board member of Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland.

Dr. Stewart Edelstein joined the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) as executive director in 2002 and was named associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University System of Maryland (USM) in 2007.

Under Dr. Edelstein’s leadership, USG works closely with Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to better articulate curriculum planning and college access initiatives within the county.  An important partnership initiative is a series of 2+2+2 programs to create education and career pathways in health and technology fields.

Ms. Suzan E. Jenkins is the CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. She possesses more than 25 years of extensive experience leading organizational and programmatic development in the nonprofit arts and culture sector. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Department of Performing Arts at American University.

Jenkins co-founded the Nonprofit Energy Alliance. Since its inception in May 2010, the Nonprofit Energy Alliance has helped 50 organizations purchase green energy. This is the cumulative equivalent to offsetting more than 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

Commencement Will Air on Montgomery College Television, Cable 10

Families and friends of the graduates in Montgomery County can watch the commencement ceremony live on Montgomery College Television, cable channel 10. The ceremony will also be available afterward on YouTube at
For more information about commencement, visit:

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